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An Eaglet In The Skies

I wrote my first poem when I was eighteen. This was in 1984. The following year I composed not less than thirty poems. Two-thirds of these I found to be uninspiring and so consigned them to the reluctant flames.

I am now thirty. All these years I have been experimenting with various verse forms on a variety of themes. The poems in this slender volume, however, were all written before I was three and twenty. They have been chosen not only to represent the formative years of my muse but also to share with you the joy I experienced - a joy akin to that of an eaglet that has learnt to fly.
September 1996

1.November 1985

Methought verses of mine were artificial,
Even those I writ to prove they were so;
Hence, they being to my thoughts unfilial,
I descry them as my inner foe.
And they, to the blue tinged yellow flame,
I consecrate as one Hindustan poet did;
Yet a surviving fragment holds his name
Whilst mine in my mind and heart is hid.
O, how difficult for me to express
My mind and heart's true unrestive wit;
And when I, it in verse form dress,
Unrest tells me I should not have writ.
Still those dead thoughts of mine strive,
Seeking a new frame to survive.

2. On Modern Poetry

The Muse wrote some lines and rose,
Lines that rate not even as prose.
What he writ was modern verse
Which hath mine eyes bedimmed with tears;
That yet blinds not mine eyes
From seeing this muse higher rise.

What I say and shall continue so
Is all that I to literature owe;
"Rehearse your thoughts - rehearse!
Before they be in ink and verse."

3. The Church Bell

How well the sexton rang the bell
As he stood within the spire,
A fitting theme for the villanelle.

The grace with which he rang the bell,
All my spirits did inspire,
And held mine eyes too in a spell.

Mine eyes were held in such a spell,
That to know, they did not aspire,
What time the steeple clock did tell.

And the ringing sound, as it fell,
Drove my sad thoughts to the pyre;
And the echoes rang to them a knell.

And as mine heart shook off the spell,
I from that scene did retire,
E'en ere he stopt ringing the bell.

That scene I in my mind did stell
To serve as fit song for the lyre.
How well the sexton rang the bell,
A fitting theme for the villanelle.

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